Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, April 16, 2015

So, Resign Your Commission, LT. See If Anyone Gives a Shit.

A naval officer has posted her reasons for resigning her commission.

The Duffel Blog has a satirical response from the Joint Chiefs that is likely very close to the truth: "We don't give a shit".

More to the point for the good lieutenant, reasons 1,2 and 4 are bullshit. #4 is the most bullshit: Ownership of self. What that seems to be is "I wanna do something else." Fine, go do it. Maybe "take this job and shove it" would be more honest. You don't own yourself in the service. If you are commanded to go die, that's what you do.

#2, strain on personal relationships: Yeah, right. What the hell did you expect when you joined a sea-going service? You go to sea for long periods of time and when you come back, you've got to fix what broke while you were out and train for the next time away. It's been like that for many decades in the Navy. So you hooked up with another officer, you expect special consideration? You're not going to get it, lassie. "Needs of the service" come first. If the detailers can arrange things so you and your hubbie have similar deployment schedules, that's nice. Hell, it's good if they can even get you into the same home port. But their job is to put competent bodies into jobs.

#1, promotions are based in wickets: That doesn't even pass the "so, what test." You have any idea how many fitreps are left-justified (top 1%)? Here's a clue: Shitloads. I'll bet that the percentage of officers who are graded "top 1%" is probably well over 30%. Going by that alone, the Navy has more hot-shot officers to fill jobs than they have jobs for them. So no shit, they look for who has met their milestones and who has earned medals for no-shit serious performance. Otherwise, they'd end up rewarding who had the best bullshit artist for a fitrep author.

As to #3, the service is "anti-intellectual", well, knock me over with a feather. It's a military service, not a frigging book club. The job is to defend the shores, conquer the seas and, at its core, kill people and break things. That doesn't encourage navel-gazing. There are plenty of slots for thinkers and plenty of opportunities for those who want to study more stuff, but that's not all there is about going to sea.

Being in the Navy isn't easy, lieutenant. It never has been. It was never promised to be. Lots of folks resign, either after their first commitment, when they are eligible to go to Department Head School, and yes, even after their department head tours. That attrition is built into the system.

There's no shame in admitting you're not cut out for the life. Lots of people get out. I did.

But essentially complaining that the Navy won't change to suit you-- maybe it's not the Navy that's the problem.


LRod said...

"Well, goddamn it, Hotlips, then resign your goddamn commission!"

Col. Blake
"M*A*S*H" (the movie)

ZJX, ORD, ZAU retired

Robert Fowler said...

Damn it LRod, now I need to clean off my screen.

I love that movie.

Comrade Misfit said...

"A little more wine, my dear?"

Anonymous said...

I hope she posts a follow-up after 3-5 years in a non-military job. I would love to read her take on civilian world leadership, promotion, standards of excellence, and ownership of personal life. Ye gods!

(Based on an almost 50 year working life in hospitals, I can tell you promotions are done by performance, OR it's your turn, OR you have friends in high places. I don't reckon it's a lot different for the military.)

Jay in N.C.